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Publication - Consultation Paper

Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement: a consultation

Published: 16 Dec 2016
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781786527059

A consultation on the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement.

45 page PDF

534.1kB

45 page PDF

534.1kB

Contents
Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement: a consultation
Chapter 2: Taking Forward the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

45 page PDF

534.1kB

Chapter 2: Taking Forward the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

Public consultation 2014

7. In response to The Future of Land Reform in Scotland consultation, 844 respondents commented on the content of the first draft Statement. These comments were analysed by independent researchers in the report A Consultation on the Future of Land Reform in Scotland: Analysis of Consultation Responses. [9] The report found that the draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement was supported by 87% of respondents. General comments called the Statement "progressive," "future-focused" and "comprehensive". [10] Comments were also received on how to make the Statement more helpful and successful in achieving its aims.

Parliamentary Process 2015-2016

8. During the Parliamentary consideration of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 a number of amendments were made to the provisions pertinent to the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement including:

  • The definition of the Statement was changed from "a statement of the Scottish Ministers' objectives for land reform" to "a statement of principles for land rights and responsibilities in Scotland," clarifying that its purpose is to guide the development of public policy on the nature and character of land rights and responsibilities.
  • The introduction of certain aims which Ministers, when preparing the Statement, must have regard to the desirability of:

a) promoting respect for, and observance of, relevant human rights;

b) promoting respect for relevant internationally accepted principles and standards for responsible practices in relation to land;

c) encouraging equal opportunities;

d) furthering the reduction of inequalities from socioeconomic disadvantage;

e) supporting and facilitating community empowerment;

f) increasing the diversity of land ownership; and

g) furthering the achievement of sustainable development in relation to land.

  • Defining (a) "human rights" as including those contained within the Human Rights Act 1998 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (" ICESCR"), as well as other relevant legislative instruments. Scottish Ministers, in preparing the Statement, must decide which human rights are relevant.
  • Defining (b) the "internationally accepted principles and standards for responsible practices in relation to land" as including the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests ("VGGTs"), issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

9. Two open stakeholder engagement events were held, one each in Glasgow and Perth, in October 2016. This was an opportunity for key stakeholders and members of the public to re-examine the first draft of the Statement and comment on how a revised draft might be prepared, following the amendments made by the Scottish Parliament. The comments made at these sessions have been taken into account in drafting the proposed Statement.

Drafting the proposed Statement

10. In drafting the proposed Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement we have taken into account: the responses to the Future of Land Reform consultation; the amendments made during the passage of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill; and comments received at stakeholder sessions. Some specific considerations that we have aimed to reflect are:

  • it would be helpful to explain key terms further and provide specific examples for the implementation of the principles;
  • the Statement should be clearly situated within wider policy frameworks;
  • the role of human rights should be clearly incorporated into the principles, including the relevant economic, social and cultural rights as laid out in ICESCR; and
  • the role of responsible practices in relation to land should be clearly stated, including the principles and standards of the VGGTs.

11. We consider it important that the Statement be strategic in nature, and that it should guide, but not prescribe or pre-empt, the detailed and specific policy work that will be needed to develop explanations of the principles. We think that providing exhaustive definitions for some of the terms within the Statement could be counterproductive as potentially it could exclude ideas or circumstances which might become more relevant as contexts change.

12. We recognise that for the Statement to be meaningful, we should be able to point to examples of the principles in action. In the proposed Statement we have refined certain elements, and elaborated on others, with the aim of bringing clarity to the meaning of each principle. We have provided examples of current and future policy, which illustrate how the aims of the principles are interrelated and coherent with the Scottish Government's wider work.

13. However, this does not mean that the Statement should be interpreted as setting measurable objectives for Land Reform. When giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, the then Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod said the Statement "is not the type of document in relation to which it would be easy or even possible to assess achievement. […] The principles are high-level and their purpose is to guide other relevant policies. As a result, I do not think that it will be possible to assess the extent to which the principles in the statement have been achieved." [11]

The relationship between the Land Rights and Responsibility Statement and other Scottish Government strategies and policies

14. The Statement sets out high-level principles to inform detailed policy work, and will interrelate with many existing and future strategy and policy documents. As Dr McLeod stated during the passage of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill: "It is intended that the Statement complement existing frameworks, as well as guiding the creation of future land-related policies, including Scotland's Economic Strategy, the Land Use Strategy and the National Planning Framework. Taken together, those will set out a consistent and holistic approach to how the land of Scotland should be used, controlled and managed." [12]

National Performance Framework

15. The National Performance Framework, introduced in 2007 and revised in 2011 and 2016, is a single framework to which all public services in Scotland are aligned. It contains 16 National Outcomes that provide a high-level overarching policy framework for what the Scottish Government wants to achieve and the kind of Scotland we want to see. The progress towards these Outcomes is measured by National Indicators. Each Outcome contributes to the Scottish Government's Purpose: "To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth." [13]

16. The Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement responds to 7 of the Scottish Government's National Outcomes:

  • We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe.
  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
  • We live in well-designed sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.
  • We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.
  • We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect and enhance it for future generations.
  • We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production.
  • Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs.

Scotland's Economic Strategy

17. Scotland's Economic Strategy (" SES"), published in March 2015, states that: "Scotland's economic prosperity depends upon the strengths and talent of our people, our natural resources, our infrastructure and how we are governed. The overarching economic and regulatory environment in which we operate also determines key social and environmental outcomes." [14] Inclusive growth is a core priority of SES (the others are investment, innovation and internationalisation), underpinning the mutually supportive pillars of competitiveness and tackling inequality. The Scottish Government defines inclusive growth as growth that combines increased prosperity with greater equity; that creates opportunities for all and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity fairly.

Land Use Strategy

18. The Land Use Strategy 2016-2021 (" LUS") supports the goal of achieving well-integrated, sustainable land use which delivers multiple benefits for all in society. The LUS provides a clear strategic framework to guide the development of more specific policies through its Vision to 2050, and three overarching Objectives relating to economic prosperity, environmental quality and to communities. The LUS also provides ten Principles for Sustainable Land Use, which should inform land use choices and significant decisions affecting the use of land, and a set of proposals. The LUS recognises the interrelated nature of land ownership, use and management and Policy 5 cross-refers to the commitment to develop a Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement which integrates these three aspects. Consideration was given to using the LUS Principles for sustainable land use as principles for land rights and responsibilities in the Statement, but, whilst they are complementary and mutually supportive, they inform different aspects of decision making in relation to land ownership, use and management.

National Planning Framework

19. The National Planning Framework (" NPF"), published in June 2014 and currently in its third version, sets out a long-term vision for development and investment across Scotland over the next 20 to 30 years. The NPF brings Scotland's Economic Strategy to life by identifying where there are key opportunities for change and what those changes could be. It sets the context for development planning in Scotland, and establishes the need for those developments to happen. It supports growth that increases solidarity, reducing inequalities between regions. The NPF must be taken into account by planning authorities in the preparation of development plans for their areas, which set a vision for growth and form the basis of deciding whether planning applications should be approved or refused.

20. The diagram below captures the main topics which interact with land rights and responsibilities. It should be noted though that this diagram cannot be entirely comprehensive, due to the breadth of policy areas and topics to which land can be relevant.

The main topics which interact with land rights and responsibilities

The Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement Policy Context

21. This table sets out the relationship between the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement and other key Government policy and strategy documents. The table includes those documents most closely related to the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, however, due to breadth of policy areas and topics which are relevant to land, the table cannot be fully comprehensive. It should be noted that the influence of related policies and strategies may run up and down the vertical hierarchy, as well as horizontally.

Human Rights and International Standards

European Convention on Human Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure

Sustainable Development Goals

National Performance Framework

Purpose

The Purpose of the Scottish Government is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

National Outcomes

  • We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe.
  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society
  • We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production.
  • We live in well-designed sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.
  • We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect and enhance it for future generations.
  • We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.
  • Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs.

National Plans and Strategies

Scotland's Economic Strategy

Fairer Scotland Action Plan

Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights

Land Strategies

Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

Land Use Strategy

National Marine Plan

National Planning Framework 3

Related National Policies

2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity

Climate Change Plan 2017*

Creating Places: a policy statement on architecture and place

Flood risk Management Plan for Scotland

Guidance on Engaging Communities*

Homes Fit for a 21 Century

Low Carbon Scotland

National Islands Plan*

National Peatland Plan

National Transport Strategy

Our Place in Time: the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland

Physical Activity Implementation Plan: A More Active Scotland

Pollinators Strategy*

Regeneration Strategy

River Basin Management Plans

Scottish Rural Development Plan

Scotland's National Food & Drink Policy: Becoming a Good Food Nation

Scottish Forestry Strategy

Scottish Planning Policy

Strategic Vision for the Uplands*

The Future of Scottish Agriculture: a discussion document

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

*the document is proposed or under development.

Question 1:

Have we captured the range of policy areas to which you think the land rights and responsibilities statement should be relevant?


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